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VTT and Luvata partner to develop new high strength copper alloy

Challenge
Research and development of an ideal high strength copper alloy that would offer advantages in air-conditioning and refrigeration applications over the industry standard C122 alloy and provide possibilities for next generation heat exchangers using CO2 and other high-pressure refrigerants.

Solution
VTT studied the composition of over 20 different prospective copper alloys jointly developed by VTT and Luvata, a world leader in metal solutions and heat exchanger manufacturing. After thorough testing on pilot lots, the field was narrowed to five alloys. These five alloys were identified by VTT for further research and testing at the various Luvata plants on three continents. VTT carried out extensive fatigue testing and worked closely with Luvata to fine-tune the alloy composition to deliver a new alloy that offers many advantages over the industry standard C122 alloy.

VTT’s research experience along with Luvata’s unique strength as a vertifically integrated manufacturer of heat exchangers; processesing cathode into tube and tube into heat exchangers, provided an unprecedented opportunity for collaboration.

Key benefits
The new copper alloy has equivalent heat transfer and pressure characteristics and is now used in the manufacture of high strength ACR tube and branded UNILLOYTM by Luvata. It delivers significant raw material cost savings when applied to both existing and future heat exchanger designs. Two commercial applications are approved already and UNILLOY is under evaluation by over a dozen major OEMs with all positive results.


Additional information

Jouko Virta
Senior Scientist
+358 50 358 6204

Additional information

Jouko Virta
Senior Scientist
+358 50 358 6204